Maybe you can look back on a Christmas of the past and remember a gift that was incredibly special. It was just what you wanted. Did your parents ever give you one of those?

I was thinking of one of those. Of all the memorable gifts, I think my favorite was the one of 1966.

My dad had promised me that if I ever shot a certain score on the golf course that he would get me a new set of clubs. And I had shot the score. But 1966 wasn’t the best year for the Joneses financially.

And then in December, they came to the pro shop. A brand new set of matched woods and irons made by Royal. They were the best set of clubs in town and the most expensive. I think I went and looked at them everyday. Needless to say I wanted them but knew I would never have them because they cost so much.

But my Dad was on a mission that Christmas. He didn’t have the money to get them so he looked around at his inventory at his gas station. Tires. That was the ticket. And he went to see that golf pro and convinced him that he needed new tires. The pro really didn’t have any money for tires. “Well, how about trading me those clubs up there for some new tires on your car?” Dad said.

I’ve still got those clubs.

It may seem sacrilegious to you but in 1966, I played golf on Christmas Day. There were only two people on the course. My Dad and I. He gave me what I wanted. And he gave what I needed—a love that came with some cost.

When I look at the manger. That’s what I see. A gift. A gift that came with a great cost.

It was really the best gift I ever received.

And when I look at this gift. I find a gift that was what I most needed. A Savior. I need to be saved more than anything else. But I also find what I (and all of our CRF kids around the world) want more than anything else—to be loved. I think deep down inside that’s what we want more than any presents. The gifts you give to your CRF kids are appreciated, but more importantly—it tells them that someone someplace loves them.

Now as you look back, most of those Christmas gifts are long lost or broken. But the love behind them has survived. That’s what we really wanted.

May you enjoy all your presents this year! But most of all be thankful for the one you needed most of all and the one you wanted most of all—the gift of love. The gift of a Savior found in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. – Milton Jones